When a huge and rather hungry enemy called Famine is killed in a kitchen-themed boss fight and the game proceeds to tell you to "grill Famine for information", you know the game doesn't take itself too seriously, which is good, because at times God's Trigger is as cheesy as hell. From that very same hell hails Judy, our preferred of the two playable characters throughout the story-driven campaign. She utilises a fairly far-reaching whip and a teleport mechanic to take down enemies and felt by far the more adequate of the two protagonists on offer.
The campaign kicks off in Outlaw Town, an obvious depiction of a small Wild West area that consists of your typical saloons and bars to fight through. The first thing we noticed here is the sort-of cel-shaded art style, which gave this area a distinctly Borderlands vibe. However, the game doesn't fully commit to this visual style and is quite a mash-up of ideas in that department, although it did fit the Outlaw Town very well and gave the initial levels a bit more pizzazz.
Getting to know each character well is your first task, and we almost instantly gravitated towards Judy, the demon. Both her and Harry, the angel, are relatively similar but Judy's longer-range default melee attack felt more useful. You pick weapons up as you take down enemies, but these have a finite amount of ammo and the base melee attack will be your go-to for large sections of the campaign. As we played in solo for the most part, we were able to switch characters on the fly to best replicate a co-op experience, and we only switched to Harry when his ability to smash through walls was needed to progress.
After finishing each level you are greeted with a character upgrade screen. The system works like a skill tree, broken into sections containing multiple options to pick from, with the more powerful perks presented at the bottom. The system works fine but the UI and readability aren't great and we felt ourselves squinting to actually read what each upgrade did. This, combined with the fact that only the main 'perks' felt differential, meant that we largely ignored what the rest of the skill tree presented and just picked each option at random. We fared well enough going down this route, as outside of boss battles the difficulty is largely mitigated by the game's generous checkpoint system. Upon death you spawn back in instantly, usually pretty close to where you fell victim to your enemies. God's Trigger is a one-hit death game, so this instant spawn system is needed to ensure the safety of one's controller during some of the tougher levels...
Some of those levels further in are quite a departure thematically from that initial Outlaw Town. You'll be fighting through nuclear test facilities and underground tombs later in the game, providing a nice level of visual variety. However, aside from an area that allows one character to snipe from afar, the gameplay in each level feels quite samey and does little to offer anything different. We really enjoyed the opportunity to have one character feel truly unique and would have loved to have seen more of these types of levels throughout the story campaign.
Thankfully the last chapter does things differently, and this is where God's Trigger stores the majority of its unique level setups, having you switching from character to character often, during time-sensitive puzzles. The final chapter is where the game comes to life and left us wishing that it dared to mix things up earlier on and a little more frequently.
We also had a good go at the arcade mode in co-op, which has you replaying sections of the main campaign, fighting through different combat scenarios to earn the best grade possible. It works well enough, but the instant respawn and generous checkpoint system of the story mode are lost for a limited-revive system, which can get frustrating at times. Bossing a level with little fault and then being caught out by a hidden enemy sending you back to the very start tested our patience, which you could argue is what a twin-stick shooter like God's Trigger is all about...
All in all, God's Trigger is good, mindless fun. The solid shooting mechanics and thematically varied levels are interesting enough to drive you through the main story campaign. The final chapter, in particular, showed what OneMoreLevel could really do when it tried to mix things up, and the setup here made us wish the earlier chapters had offered more variety. Whether you veer on the side of an angel or a demon, God's Trigger is worth a look for fans of top-down shooters who are looking for new, co-operative challenges.
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